Ten Sixty all adds up for Johnson
A review of the action from Leicester on Wednesday, where Richard Johnson was once again among the winners on Ten Sixty.
Richard Johnson: A winner on his only ride at Leicester on Wednesday.
Champion jockey Richard Johnson got a tune out of the promising Ten Sixty to land the feature Advent Handicap Hurdle at Leicester.
Johnson gave a riding masterclass on the six-year-old, who was returning in the two-and-a-half-mile contest after a 238-day break.
Trainer Philip Hobbs' 9/4 joint-favourite was dropped out in the early stages as Abricot De L'Oasis sought to make all.
But Johnson, on his only ride of the day, made stealthy progress to enter the fray as they swung around the top bend.
There were several in with chances and Ten Sixty looked to have plenty on his plate.
But Johnson's enduring talent was clear for all to see aboard Ten Sixty, who landed just in front after the last and battled to the line to hold the game Abricot De L'Oasis by a head.
Johnson said: "He is a very honest horse. The summer break has really done him the world of good as he needed a bit of time. He is a staying chaser in the making."
Winning owner Andrew Cohen, who has 25 horses across the Flat and National Hunt, was very satisfied with Ten Sixty's seasonal bow.
He said: "The jockey gave him a wonderful ride but the horse stayed on very well – he didn't quit.
"It has taken time for the penny to drop. I would think we'll keep him to hurdles this season. We'll discuss it with Philip."
The feel-good story of the day undoubtedly belonged to teenage rider Harry Stock who won on 11/2 chance Gray Day in the Racing Excellence Training Series Conditional Jockeys' Novices Hurdle.
Stock, 19, suffered an horrific broken back injury after falling in a schooling exercise.
He said: "I was in hospital for a week and had two rods in my back. I was off for 22 months."
Stock has been back at trainer Donald McCain's for approaching half a year and this was his second winner since returning.
His parents were present to see his latest success, as was Beryl McCain, widow of the legendary Ginger.
She said: "It's lovely for him. He had low times and thought he wasn't going to ride again. But he has done wonderfully well. Donald has always thought a lot of the lad."
Harry Redknapp had travelled to the East Midlands track to watch his gelding Violets Boy contest the ROA/Racing Post Owners' Jackpot Handicap Chase.
But the former boss of Spurs and West Ham – among others – was left disappointed as Foundation Man gave a fluent jumping display to score by 15 lengths in the two-and-three-quarter-mile race.
The 5/4 favourite was accompanied at the early fences by Phangio before Violets Boy tried to serve up a challenge as they turned for home.
But Foundation Man never looked like giving up pole position under apprentice Jack Savage and the nine-year-old duly recorded his fourth win under Rules.
It was the second time Savage had partnered him to success and the victory meant that he can now claim 7lb when riding for his boss Jonjo O'Neill.
Savage, 22, said: "Jumping is his strength, he gallops and he likes the quicker ground. He's brilliant – I'd love to take him hunting!"
Amateur Will Gordon recorded his first victory under Rules in this country thanks to Unify in the Ivy Novices' Handicap Chase.
The 20-year-old had previously ridden winners in domestic point-to-points and in New Zealand (under Rules) during last summer .
Caprice D'Anglais looked to be heading for success until unshipping Conor O'Farrell with four fences to jump in the two-miler.
Unify, an 11/4 shot, was the beneficiary as she forged on and had just enough in the tank to keep at bay the late-thrusting Opechee.
Winning trainer Anthony Honeyball said: "That's Will's first ride for us. The mare is fantastic. We've run her and run her and that's her fourth win for us."
There were no bids for 7/2 shot Rathealy after he skipped to an emphatic win in the Mistletoe Selling Hurdle.
The withdrawal of No Ceiling resulted in a match in the concluding Yuletide Chase – a limited handicap for novices – which saw Oliver's Hill (6/4) defeat the favourite Prince Khurram.
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